Best college football bets for season win totals

USA TODAY Sports

Betting on college football isn't confined to point spreads. And the best picks are often season win totals. Odds Shark picks three teams that may be good wagers in 2013.

Just because it calls Las Vegas home doesn't make UNLV a smart college football bet each week.

But looking at the full season, there are some wagers on the Runnin' Rebels that OddsShark.com handicapppers believe make it a good choice for season win college football betting odds. Here are three teams that could turn a profit for Vegas bettors in 2013.

UNLV Rebels - over four wins

True, they have won just two games in each of coach Bobby Hauck's first three seasons. Fact is, taking UNLV at Over 4 (-115) wins is not a bad choice when there are some who believe this is a team on the brink of a breakout season and ready to become bowl-eligible (six wins).

This is a senior-laden group with 19 starters back, a key handicapping factor in sports betting circles. Last year UNLV lost three games in which it led in the fourth quarter. The Rebels opened (and lost) in Minneapolis in a rematch against Minnesota, which won last year's season-opener for both teams in triple-overtime.

Then it's back for a date with Arizona. Those two should have the Rebels battle-tested and ready for Central Michigan, Western Illinois and New Mexico. Pending those three games, and the momentum they could build, the Rebels might be 3-2 heading into their Oct. 12 home game with Hawaii.

Games at Fresno State and Reno will be tough, but home games against San Jose State and Utah State are both winnable. The Rebels travel to Air Force and close the season at home versus San Diego State. The Over looks tempting with UNLV.

Louisville Cardinals - over 10.5 wins

Another team that looks valuable has quarterback Teddy Bridgewater emerging as a strong Heisman Trophy candidate before the season has even started. The 6'3 junior preseason All-American threw for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns last year, and is poised to lead the Cardinals on a run through the American Athletic Conference.

Louisville begins play in its fourth different league and is in search of third-straight league title, after capturing back-to-back Big East shares in 2011 and 2012. The Redbirds will be familiar with members like Cincinnati, Connecticut, Rutgers and South Florida, who also made the move from the Big East.

Non-conference games against Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky and Florida International should get the Cards out to a 4-0 start and nearly halfway to their win total. They'd need seven wins over their last eight games, which is feasible, considering they finished 11-2 last year and should be as good - if not better - this season.

USC Trojans - under 9.5 wins

Southern Cal's win total of 9-1/2 wins seems a bit high after the Trojans finished a disappointing 7-6 last season (despite already pocketing one Thursday night). Though they do have one of the more talented Pac 12 rosters, there are far too many question marks with the offense and Under (-120) looks very tempting.

Coach Lane Kiffin is going to have his hands full in a conference that is stacked, and a very tough schedule that began in Honolulu Thursday night. Though the Trojans welcome back Biletnikoff Award-winning receiver Marqise Lee, they're also putting a brand new quarterback under center for the first time since 2009, now that Matt Barkley is suiting up on Sundays.

And make note, there is an ongoing competition between Max Wittek, who started the final 2 games of 2012, and Cody Kessler. And the problem I have with this, given the high-profile nature of this team, Kessler knows he's always a few bad plays away from being put on his own island.

That leads to tentative play far too much. USC should improve on last year's 7-6 mark, but asking for three more wins might be too much. Under will suffice.

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